I am no expert on marketing – that said, common sense and logic must tell you that most marketing techniques have already been tried and tested through time.
I seem to remember in the recesses of my mind, something about the four “P’s”, and that if you don’t advertise or do some sort of direct marketing exercise, that your business will most certainly fail. Well I for one think that this is a bunch of hooey!
You see, as far as I am concerned business is about making a profit, making money is relatively easy, but making a profit – well now that is a whole different ball game altogether. Ok, getting back to the point – in order to make a profit (or money for that matter) you need to sell something, irrespective of whether that something is a product or a service. So you need to have sales – lots and lots of sales.
Now as a small business owner, I don’t have deep pockets. That means essentially that I don’t have the financial resources to do huge amounts of advertising or ad campaigns – I am sure that many of you are also in the same predicament. So what do I (read we) do.
Well for me it is easy – you see I ‘cross pollinate’ or collaborate or Network – whatever you like to call it.
Let me explain – about a week or so ago, I met (let’s call her Anne) at a Networking meeting – she is a secretary or PA by profession and due to the economy and cuts in jobs in several of the huge Corporate companies, she found herself doing her own thing from home. Anne has a huge amount of experience dealing with ‘red tape’ in terms of presenting for tenders and the like and clearly is great with keeping diaries sorted and meeting deadlines and all of this from home.
Anne has been in business for herself for about 4 months now and although she is connected in terms of the Corporate world, her clients are now people from the SMME market. So how does she get business?
Well you see, I also have this client (let’s call her Jane) who owns or co-owns several businesses. Being a bit of a control freak, she tries to do everything herself and the result is often chaos! As I write this, she is opening her brand new restaurant tomorrow. The guest list features several political dignitaries and about 200 odd guests. She also had a deadline to present for a tender worth millions, by close of business today. I’m sure you can see the dilemma and the incredible stress that she has put herself under.
I have now connected Anne and Jane and so their journey begins. Anne has sorted out the tender presentation and all Anne has to do is stand there as power presentation does its thing and hand out the neatly and professionally produced documentation as and when it is required.
Now Jane, who is connected to thousands of SMME’s will refer Anne to everyone who needs her services. Anne who is connected to thousands of Corporate players will connect Jane to all the power players that will enhance her several businesses.
Both Anne and Jane have learnt some valuable lessons – you can market your business through the power of referrals, you can grow your data base by connecting with people (even if they don’t necessarily have anything to do with the business that you are in) and you can’t do everything yourself – sometimes it is easier, cheaper and more professional to get professionals in to do what they do best, while you do what you do best.
The bottom line however, is that this form of Marketing is not even done by you – it is done for you by all the small business owners or individuals in your data base. It is done on your behalf and often you are not even aware of it being done – now that’s what I call the marketing of the future!